Going to work in your home office while wearing comfortable yoga pants instead of commuting an hour to a glorified cubicle while wearing business attire might seem like a pipe dream.
Can you really have a successful career without a commute while having more time to spend with your kids?
From the jobs that really can be done from home to whether you need childcare, we’re debunking 5 myths about working from home.
Myth #1: The only jobs available for working from home are in customer service + IT/web development.
So false! In fact, most of the tools used in an office setting are the same used from home, including instant messaging, email, document sharing, etc. Recent listings for home-based positions prove that they can be found in almost every industry, and ranging in experience from entry-level to executive.
Some examples include CEO, lawyer, RN coach, gardening expert, online shopping gift editor, elementary teacher, claims investigator, microbiologist and a membership development manager. (Check out sites like Apres and Fairygodboss for more job openings.)
Myth #2: You won’t be as productive.
False! Studies have shown that without the distractions from coworkers stopping by your desk for chats coupled with other in-office interruptions, employees are much more productive working from home. In fact, researchers noted in a 2012 study, “We find a 12% increase in performance from home-working, of which 8.5% is from working more minutes per shift (fewer breaks and sick-days) and 3.5% from higher performance per minute (quieter working environment).”
Myth #3: It’s hard to get work done at home with all the chores that need to be done.
Working from home isn’t for everyone because it does require self-discipline. A common successful approach is to set designated “working hours” and focus only on your job during those times. Does this mean you can’t throw in a load of laundry while on a coffee break? No, but it does mean you should put off folding any clothes until you hear the clock strikes 5.
Myth #4: You won’t need childcare.
Although some moms think working from home is a way to save money on childcare, this is really not recommended if you take your professional job seriously. Both your work and your child deserve your undivided attention, and ideally should not be interrupting each other or competing for time. Otherwise you’ll likely shortchange both.
Plan for a reliable school situation or a caregiver for the hours when you’re dedicated to work so you can remain focused and accomplish your goals in a shorter amount of time. With your tasks completed, you’ll be less stressed and more excited when it comes to playing patty-cake!
Myth #5: The office + your boss will forget about you.
Be proactive in your communications and initiate conversations, questions or collaboration with your colleagues.
Also seek out ways to measure your productivity, and schedule regular meetings with your boss and peers to review progress as a great way to stay in the loop and to show them you’re contributing. It’s also a good idea to take the time to touch base by email/IM with your coworkers, and, if possible, meet for lunch from time to time.
And therein lies the truth about working from home!
—Sara Sutton Fell, CEO & Founder of FlexJobs.com
A version of this article was originally published on Working Mother.